We’ve all noticed the phenomenon this year – even if we haven’t given it a name. Polling is consistently underrating the strength of the Donald Trump vote – a strength that doesn’t show up until the election results come in. And Democrats are deeply concerned that this may result in an unseen tsunami conservative vote in November.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll team are so concerned about this problem that yesterday they announced that they are changing the wording of their presidential preference poll to try to adjust for the Trump effect.
According to Maurice Tamman, head of data mining at Reuters in New York:
“At times, the Reuters/Ipsos poll showed Clinton with a lead over Trump as wide as about 12 percentage points … five percentage points higher than Clinton’s lead in some other comparable polls.”
Tamman and his team discovered that giving respondents the option of picking Trump or Clinton or “Neither” candidate, tended to show lower percentages for Trump – so they have now taken the “neither” question out.
This may not solve the problem entirely. Have you noticed how few Trump bumper stickers there are on vehicles this year, or how few Trump yard signs are on display?
American voters have changed their political preference habits.
They are much more hesitant to admit their support for Trump.
For example, the gold standard in polling was always thought to be the live phone interview. However, pollsters have now discovered that robo-phone calls tend to more accurately capture support for Trump, but even they still fall short.
The problem may be rooted in security concerns - fear. Many Trumpers have reported the destruction of Trump yard signs in violent ways – ways never seen before in American politics. In the past, there has always been an undefined line of acceptable behavior over which even staunch political partisans dared not cross. But fear has now destroyed that line and the political openness it protected.
Interestingly, this problem even goes beyond the Trump race. A similar phenomena has been noted in the UK and given a name: the “Shy Tory Factor.” British polls tend to consistently underestimate the strength of the conservative vote. This was the significant factor at the heart of the Brexit surprise vote.
The truth is that this may be an unintended consequence of the left wing trying to deliberately inject so much hatred, violence and the resultant fear into American politics.
Advice to the Dems – trying to rule by fear does work short-term, but true Americans long to breathe free air and will always find a way to quietly work to maximize a civil, freedom-loving society. You’ve got to win hearts and minds, and this isn’t doing it.
Certainly, the Democrat convention did nothing to try to calm the political waters of the Black Lives Matter group – quite the opposite. Political conquest by violence was openly celebrated on the Dems Philadelphia stage – even the most violent tendencies were celebrated. Even a call for a moment of silence for slain police was violated.
That combined with the fear of the forces of the slow-rolling invasion, make for a toxic brew of domestic anxiety that Americans have never felt before in our 240-year history. Americans of every color and ethnicity know we are now in the fight of our lives – a fight for the heart of freedom, itself.
It will be no surprise when the silent majority turns out in record numbers to restore safety to the land of the free by delivering massive losses to leftists at all levels of governance.
I’m still reporting from Washington. Good day.